The charter captain perched high in his lookout tower scans the water beyond the wake where the baits are skipping. There is a sudden flash of sunlight on a dark sickle cutting through the waves—the fin of a giant marlin. The captain calls down and the faces of the boat boy and the man in the fighting chair grow tense as the fish comes in on the baits. The man's left hand tightens on the rod, his right hand seeks the reel handle. This is the moment of climax: the quest for the fish has suddenly ended, and the battle for the fish's life will at any instant begin. It is not a battle that a man wins easily, as proved by these pictures of Eugene Ballif of Los Angeles. Ballif hooked the fish, a 768-pound Pacific blue marlin, off the Kona coast of Hawaii and the fight required all his skill as well as expert boat handling by his captain. Beginning on page 59, the renowned angler, Eugenie Marron, who has earned 15 records for fish caught the world over, shares the lessons in boating and fishing that she has learned in a lifetime on the deep sea.